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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen ID. Buzz review

The ID. Buzz is one of the funkiest family EVs on the market, but this distinctiveness comes at quite a cost

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Funky styling
  • Thoughtful features
  • Lots of space

Cons

  • Far from cheap to buy
  • Frustrating infotainment system
  • Seven seats cost extra
RangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
283-291 miles12hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)30mins (10-80%, 200kW)

Volkswagen ID. Buzz verdict

Few cars are as worthy of the hype surrounding them as the Volkswagen ID. Buzz. It’s not quite as practical or versatile as some other van-based people-carriers, but it can go further on a charge and top-up faster than pretty much many of them. Plus, no electric SUV out there can match the space or family-friendly features of the supremely funky VW. Its styling might be what draws customers in, but beneath the Microbus-inspired looks this is a very capable, if slightly pricey, EV. 

Details, specs and alternatives

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz brings the retro flower power charms of the classic VW Type 2 Microbus into the 21st century. Just like the original, the ID. Buzz stands out by a country mile thanks to its large size, unique design and some very bright paint colours, but take a look underneath and it’s a thoroughly modern and fully-electric affair. 

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Following a refresh of the line-up in mid-2024, every variant of the VW ID. Buzz is powered by a single rear-mounted 286bhp motor, and this is paired with a 79kWh battery pack which this MPV shares with the Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5. Prior to this, the ID. Buzz featured a smaller 77kWh battery and 201bhp motor.

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It wasn’t only a new battery and motor that were added as part of the 2024 refresh, as the long-awaited ID. Buzz LWB also made its appearance. This long wheelbase variant introduced the option of seven seats to the line-up for the first time, which makes a lot of sense considering the ID. Buzz’s family car credentials. The LWB version is powered by a bigger 88kWh battery, too, which allows it to cover up to 283 miles per charge on the WLTP combined cycle.

For those who like to complete the school run in a hurry, the hotter Volkswagen ID. Buzz GTX adds four-wheel drive to the mix as well as two beefier motors that deliver a combined 335bhp. This version is set to arrive in the UK in 2024, and it can be specced in either regular or LWB form. Power is provided by the same batteries as in the standard versions.

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Electric car buyers with large families have a fairly large number of similarly-sized people carrier rivals to choose from. There are nine-seat models such as the Citroen e-SpaceTourer, Vauxhall Vivaro Life Electric, Peugeot e-Traveller and Ford E-Tourneo Custom, as well as smaller seven-seaters including the Peugeot e-Rifter, Citroen e-Berlingo and Vauxhall Combo Life Electric.

Unlike its rivals, though, the ID. Buzz isn’t based on a commercial vehicle as such. There is a panel van version, called the ID. Buzz Cargo, but that was created with an electric passenger car in mind from the outset. 

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Because of this, the VW ID. Buzz is a more premium-feeling product than its van-derived competition, so we expect many people will be considering the ID. Buzz in addition to some of the larger electric family cars out there, such as the Tesla Model YSkoda EnyaqNissan Ariya and BMW iX3

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The starting price of the ID. Buzz is higher than almost all its competition, though with entry-level Life models starting from over £59,000. If you want the larger LWB model, this adds the additional space and seats for a somewhat reasonable additional cost of £500.

Whichever version you pick, though, there’s no denying that the Volkswagen ID. Buzz is pricey for a family-focused people carrier. At least you get a heated steering wheel, reversing camera, keyless start, adaptive cruise control and 19-inch alloy wheels, plus 40:60 split-folding rear bench, sliding rear doors and a 5.3-inch digital driver’s display. There’s a 10-inch touchscreen, too, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. 

Meanwhile, the range-topping ID. Buzz Style is priced at around £64,000. For this additional money you’ll get 20-inch alloys, ambient lighting, stainless steel 'Play' and 'Pause' pedals, a powered tailgate, matrix LED headlights and two-tone cloth upholstery.

The spicier ID. Buzz GTX will sit at the top of the line-up when it makes its UK debut. As well as boosted performance, this comes with unique exterior enhancements and the choice of 20- or 21-inch alloy wheels. As the range-topper, this ID. Buzz also carries the biggest starting price. 

Buyers also get a choice of two-tone paint schemes which incorporate a white U-shaped bonnet and roof; another nod to the iconic Type 2 Microbus from the 50s and 60s. These designs certainly look the part, but they’ll also set you back by almost £3,000.

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Hello, I’m Shane and I’m the senior content editor both here at DrivingElectric and at our sister title Auto Express. Although I can trace my professional roots back to the radio and podcasting world, my passion (or borderline obsession) with cars saw me switch over to motoring journalism in 2021. From the very start I have been fortunate enough to try out the latest and greatest electric cars on the market, and I’m proud to help people like you make the right EV buying decisions.

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